In an industry where safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control are big selling points, manufacturers and car dealers are scrambling to adapt to the reality of car-buying amid a pandemic.
Many motorists will be looking for a better cabin air filter on their next car as they prepare for their spring break and summer road trips. But they also want a way to buy a vehicle with a minimum of personal contact.
Volvo recently surveyed drivers about their new car wish-lists. An air conditioner with built-in germ filtering was the most requested item (53%), followed closely by sanitization procedures incorporated within the standard maintenance package (52%). Drivers also said they wanted ways to make items like masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant more accessible in the vehicle such as a phone sanitizer in the console or a designated place to store a mask in the car.
Read the article at USA Today.
Small speed increases can have huge effects on crash outcomes, as shown in new crash tests by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Humanetics.
Drivers often travel faster than posted speed limits, but when officials raise limits to match travel speeds, people still go faster. Today, 41 states allow 70 mph or higher speeds on some roadways, including eight states that have maximum speeds of 80 mph or more.
“Cars are safer than they’ve ever been, but nobody’s figured out how to make them defy the laws of physics, said Dr. David Harkey, IIHS president. “Rather than raising speed limits, states should vigorously enforce the limits they have. This includes using proven countermeasures like high-visibility enforcement and carefully implemented speed-camera programs to consistently and equitably enforce speed limits 24/7.”
Read the article at IIHS.
Ford Media Center
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, released a new report, ‘Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle’ that examines the significant role speeding plays in teen driver fatalities and offers practical tools to help parents rein in this lethal driving habit.
The new analysis for GHSA found that from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16-19 years of age) accounted for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups (30%). During this five-year period, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in speeding-related crashes.
The report includes state-by-state statistics. It sheds new light on what we know about speeding-related fatal crashes involving teens – the driver is more likely to be male, have run off the road or rolled the vehicle, and be unbuckled.
Read the article at Ford Media Center.
Toyota Motor Corp unveiled its Woven Planet research unit at a virtual media event on Friday, promising to deliver the world’s “safest mobility” as competition heats up to develop self-driving and connected cars.
As traditional automakers face competition from the likes of Apple, Amazon and Sony, Toyota is looking to marry Woven Planet’s Silicon Valley approach with its storied Toyota Production System manufacturing process to develop the next generation of cars.
Led by ex-Google roboticist James Kuffner, Woven Planet also says it has the advantage of scale in collecting data – key to developing artificial intelligence-aided software – through the tens of millions of Toyota cars on the road worldwide. Toyota retook the crown as world’s best-selling automaker in 2020, unseating Volkswagen AG.
Read the article at Reuters.
General Motors, Detroit’s biggest automaker, says it plans to exclusively offer electric light-duty cars and trucks by 2035, five years ahead of a previously announced goal and part of a broader mission to make its production and operations carbon neutral by 2040.
That timeline puts GM well ahead of market forecasts: Less than half of the US vehicle market is expected to be electric by 2035. GM could see its big risk pay off. The company will just have to bet everything it has to find out.
By moving up its EV goalposts, the company is speeding up the depreciation of its factories and supplier relationships, but also its decades of intangible know-how. The world’s automakers have learned better than anyone how to squeeze every last drop out of their mastery of the internal combustion engine, a technology first installed in commercial cars in 1886. Turning away from this is more than just junking materiel; it’s abandoning a competitive advantage formed over more than a century.
Read the article at Quartz.
According to conventional wisdom, pulling a driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) once a year is enough to identify risky drivers. In fact, it gives risky drivers a long grace period before discovery and unnecessarily raises the fleet’s risk profile and potential for a costly liability claim.
By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales
Among the most common objections to implementing a continuous motor vehicle record (MVR) program is that a once-a-year MVR pull is “good enough” to identify risky drivers.
This objection, which reflects conventional wisdom about MVRs, is true enough for most drivers. In fact, the vast majority of drivers will not have a violation necessitating the pulling of an MVR and intervention by fleet personnel or management.
However, even the best driver can engage in risky behavior resulting in a violation — raising the fleet’s risk profile, the potential for a serious crash, and a liability lawsuit.
Once-a-year MVR pulls are a gift to risky drivers, giving them a grace period of almost a year before a violation is discovered — putting the company at risk for a liability lawsuit if this behavior escalates into a serious injury or fatality accident.
Ron Breslow Joined FLD Remarketing As Kid, Retires As Partner
If careers were hat racks, Ron Breslow would likely appear to be the biggest haberdasher in town because he wore just about every hat that existed in the remarketing world!
Office guy, driver, lot manager, auction lead, vice president, partner — pretty much whatever the main cog in a company wheel needs to do. To hear Breslow say it, it’s possible that over the years, he’d be out waxing cars when he wasn’t making major business decisions.
In a tenure that lasted over 40 years, the just recently retired partner of Delray Beach-based fleet services company FLD Remarketing handled just about every position the company ever had and some that may not have even existed!
“Hell, if someone needed me to sweep the parking lot,” I probably did that too,” mused Breslow, now retired and comfortably ensconced in his Florida home, not far from the office where he helped pioneer the modern vehicle remarketing industry.